Archive for January, 2009

£700,000 to teach children to clean their teeth?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

A Primary Care Trust has been criticised for spending £700,000 of public money teaching children how to clean their teeth. It has introduced a scheme targeting children aged three to five years old, after new figures showed five-year-olds in the area had an average of 1.3 decayed, missing or filled teeth.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the scheme, which has been funded by North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust, will introduce daily supervised tooth brushing in pre-schools and nurseries. It will be run over five years, at a cost of £134,000 a year, and the trust will also foot the £36,000 bill for toothbrushes and toothpaste for 9,400 children attending 60 schools and nurseries.

At Learning Curve the children learn to brush their teeth from the time they start in the baby room. Good news for Wiltshire County Council then –at least they will not have to spend any money educating our children on dental hygiene!

January 2009 – New vetting scheme continues to take shape

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The vetting and barring of people working with children and vulnerable adults in England and Wales is to be run by the newly created Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) from 20 January.

The scheme covers all people who work or volunteer, or seek to work or volunteer, with children or vulnerable adults. In Wales alone, 750,000 people will be covered by the scheme in a range of occupations including childcare, health, teaching and coaching, the caring services, advisory services and the transport of vulnerable individuals.The scheme also covers inspectorate bodies, local government directors and bodies, charitable trustees and youth justice boards. It takes over from the List 99 and the Protection of Children Act list, which have the names of people banned from working with children. From 20 January all employers must send any referrals for List 99 and the Protection of Children Act list to the ISA rather than the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Department of Health.

Graduate staff may become obligatory in nurseries

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

The Government is considering making it a legal requirement to have a graduate in every full daycare setting as part of plans to strengthen qualification levels for early years workers.  The Department for Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) has previously stated a commitment to have a graduate in every early years setting by 2015, but I understand that they are keen to make this more than just a wish. More detailed plans on raising qualification levels for early years workers are expected in the update on the Ten-Year Childcare Strategy, due early next year.  At Learning Curve we recognise the value of learning and development and are very keen to promote training opportunities to our staff. Naida is a qualified teacher and professionally qualified in Early Years. But recruiting staff at graduate level is very expensive and would inevitably lead to a rise in fees. How important do you think learning and development is for nursery staff? Do you think that every nursery needs a graduate professional in place? Do let us know your thoughts.